Greater than 4 minutes, my friend!
I hope 2017 is off to a very good start for you. In my case December and January are normally quite slow so I use this time to reflect.
2016 was definitely great for The Open Mic. I’d even dare to say fantastic.
In our first year we have grown from a relatively unknown website to a popular community for translators with over 2,000 registered members and 5k monthly site visitors.
Our authors have published nearly 500 articles last year. An outstanding result for such a niche website.
Not only The Open Mic helps spread great knowledge within the translation community, but it also helps blogging translators amplify their reach and promote the image of our wonderful profession to clients.
The Open Mic was also nominated (and won!) Proz.com’s Community Choice Award as the best website. Great result for a community that has been around for a little more than a year.
But the most mind-blowing thing is that I managed The Open Mic all by myself. From development and fixing bugs to social media marketing and writing an insane amount of content.
Of course, I wouldn’t be able to do all that without the support of the amazing people of this community. And I’m always grateful for all the positive comments, emails mentions and shares. This is the only thing that keeps me going, really.
What went well in 2016
Development, growth and promotion.
There’s one very important thing that I realized in 2016: there are a handful of things that I’m good at and a whole bunch of things that I’m terrible at.
I’m definitely a good developer. I can give myself that. I mean, just look at the things that were developed last year alone.
And don’t even get me started on the sheer amount of bugs that I’ve fixed on the platform.
All of that can be found on our public Trello board.
Building and creating are the 2 things that I enjoy the most. I’m constantly learning new things and I allow my imagination and creativity go wild.
I can spend hours tweaking things, building something new, testing and tweaking again and I just can’t get enough of it. Sometimes I feel like I’m a developer trapped in a translator’s body.
I’m also a decent marketer and growth hacker as it seems like The Open Mic is constantly growing and evolving. More and more people join our tiny community every single day, our reach and social media presence grows stronger every day.
All our authors really enjoy how The Open Mic helps them amplify their reach and be heard. This is something I’m really proud of and I’m constantly thinking about more ways to help you share your ideas.
What didn’t go so well in 2016
Building a community and working efficiently.
Don’t get me wrong. The Open Mic is a great community and we have a very solid base of loyal fans who love our platform.
Unfortunately I didn’t quite succeed in creating more ways for interaction. I mean, I did built a ton of features, like personal walls, private messages, forum, private Slack community but I didn’t really encourage people to use them.
As a result the only way we interact with each other is through articles and comments under those articles. I’ve also noticed that people need constant encouragement to write, to comment, to share, to contribute.
Building a community is indeed a full time job that requires strong leadership and continuous encouragement.
You have to be on the front lines every single day, starting discussions, guiding conversations, coming up with ideas for questions, polls, initiatives and interesting topics.
It’s incredibly hard to build a community when you have a full time job and need to prioritize client work. There were times where I didn’t log into The Open Mic for weeks simply because I was busy making money.
And when you stop investing your time into a community people start loosing interest, they go elsewhere, where community managers take a better care of their networking needs.
What we will be doing in 2017
There are a lot of things planned for 2017 but the biggest one to date is client profiles.
As our community grows stronger and matures we attract more and more people who come to our platform looking for translators.
I’m currently working on client profiles and mechanisms that will help all kinds of clients find and work with translators easily and without any hassle.
This is probably one of the biggest things I have ever developed for The Open Mic and I can’t wait to launch it.
I could use your help in 2017
Building and managing a community of The Open Mic’s scale is not an easy job. It requires a lot of time and effort.
I realize that if I want to take The Open Mic to the next level I’m gonna need your help.
Simply send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to volunteer and donate your time and help me with some minor tasks, so I could focus on the things that I’m good at.
There are a ton of things you can help me with. Some of them require only a few minutes of your time a day, others are more complex and challenging.
So if you like our tiny community and would like to get involved just send me a message and we’ll discuss further details.
Thank you so much in advance! 🙌🙌🙌